Jussie Smollett Found Guilty on Five Felony Charges Stemming From False Attack Report

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Jussie Smollett has been found guilty on five of six felony charges stemming from a false police report the former Empire star filed in 2019.

On Wednesday, the case went to the jury, weeks after a trial began on November 29.

Smollett claimed in January 2019 that he had been beaten up by two white men who yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him.

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He alleged the attackers tied a rope around his neck and poured an "unknown substance" over him, all while saying he was in a "MAGA country."

The actor also said that he had received a threatening letter days before the alleged attack, including racist and homophobic phrases.

The following weeks were eye-opening when it emerged that Smollett had been charged with filing a false police report.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said that Smollett staged the attack in an effort to get publicity after being unhappy with his salary on Empire.

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He was accused of paying two brothers to help stage the attack.

Ultimately, those charges were dropped, but the tide changed last year when the star was indicted on six new charges.

Jussie's defense has maintained the star was the victim of a real hate crime and called the brothers “sophisticated liars and criminals."

“He’s dumb enough to go into Obama’s city and pretend there’s Trump supporters running around with MAGA hats? Give me a break,” defense attorney Nenye Uche told jurors in his closing arguments.

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“The brothers were like wolves disguised as sheep in the hen house.”

Prosecutors argued that Smollett exploited race relations for his own gain.

“It’s clearly a violation of the law to go to the police and report to police a fake crime and tell police it’s a real crime,” special prosecutor Dan Webb told the jury.

“To outright denigrate something as serious, as heinous, as a real hate crime, to denigrate it and then make sure it involved words and symbols that have such horrible historical significance in our country was just plain wrong to do it and he did.”

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Smollett is best known for playing Jamal Lyon on Empire.

He was written out of the series after he reported the attack, but there was an option for him to return.

Ultimately, the show decided against bringing him back and survived one more season before FOX pulled the plug.

Paul Dailly was an Associate Editor for TV Fanatic.Follow him on X.

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